Tuesday, July 28, 2015


In case you happened to be sleeping last night as most were, the Toronto Blue Jays signaled that they are not ready to just let the New York Yankees run away with the American League East title this season when the completed a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Rockies for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.  Going back to Colorado was aging shortstop Jose Reyes and two minor league players.  This is as big a trade as we have seen in quite awhile, no significant is the talent that is Tulowitzki who remains in his prime as one of the best hitters in the game.  So before the ink settles on the deal, let's check in on the principles involved and how it affects them from a fantasy baseball angle. 

Troy Tulowitzki:  Obviously Tulowitzki is the headliner here and it is shocking that a deal was done in the first place with him given the $100 million still remaining on his contract.  Be that as it may, Tulowitzki makes an already potent Toronto batting lineup downright frightening as he joins power-hitting studs Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson.  As far as the offensive numbers are concerned, Tulowitzki has seen a decline in 2015 from his 2010-2014 rates, with much of that happening early on in the season when he was still finding his way back from serious offseason hip surgery.  The surgery seemed to curtail Tulowitzki's power at least initially in 2015 as he hit only 4 home runs COMBINED in April and May.  However Tulowitzki smacked 4 in June and 4 more in July to get himself somewhat back on track there.  Overall Tulowitzki goes into his Toronto tenure with the following numbers:

12 HR
53 RBI
46 R
0 SB

Those numbers represent again a decline from his previous seasons and at the age of 30 (turning 31 in October), Tulowitzki has a lot of injury mileage on him going back to the start of his career.  In fact there has not been a season leading up to 2015 when Tulowitzki has not spent at least one stint on the disabled list and he has the firm reputation of being one of the most injury-marred big-name players in fantasy baseball.  The fact Tulowitzki will now have to play on the unforgiving turf at Rogers Center is quite the scary proposition when it comes to his health and any game he plays there you almost have to cross your fingers in order to hope his fragile body holds up. 

Still it is not all bad as Tulowitzki gets to stay in a monster offensive park, one that would rank number 2 behind only Coors Field in terms of the home run tendencies of the place.  On that front Tulowitzki could not have been put in a better place upon being traded out of the offensive haven that is Coors Field. 

All in all Tulowitzki's value pretty much remains the same, albeit more risky due to the turf at Rogers Center possibly playing a factor with his health.  Other than that, Tulowitzki should still be able to hit home runs at a high rate there and be his usual hitting stud self if his body cooperates. 

Jose Reyes:  The other shortstop in the deal is the still effective but aging Jose Reyes.  Having turned 32 in June, Reyes's body is older than his age given his own extensive history of injuries, particularly in his legs which is a very bad thing for a player whose game depends on speed.  As far as Reyes' numbers are concerned, he heads south and west with the following digits:

4 HR
34 RBI
36 R
16 SB

Still solid numbers no doubt but a clear departure from the monster statistics Reyes once put up as a first round fantasy baseball monster.  The current version of Reyes is a stripped-down model who still runs well enough to be a factor on the bases but who may not even get to 25 stolen bases anymore.  Additionally, Reyes' OBP has tumbled the last two years to the .320 range after he was a .350 stalwart for many seasons prior.  That has really hurt his runs total which should be much higher on a team possessing this much thump behind him in the order.  Never one with a bunch of home run power, Reyes is lucky if he can get to 10 in any season. 

Going to Colorado will help keep Reyes in a top offensive park but again home runs were never a part of his game.  The thin air of Colorado is not a great thing for his legs either so Reyes remains a huge injury risk.  There is the chance Reyes could be dealt again as he doesn't fit the rebuilding plan taking place in Colorado, so that needs to be watched closely for sure.  Other than that, Reyes still makes the grade as a top ten fantasy baseball shortstop given the utter lack of depth there. 


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